Lola’s Kitchen: The saltier the better?

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No doubt about it, I love salt. I put salt in everything. While dining with friends, I usually receive questionable looks, salt not being healthy in large quantities.

A pinch of salt in icing will diffuse the sweetness, making the sugar taste a little mellower.

Knowing salt can contribute to high blood pressure, I have been fortunate all my life; my blood pressure has always been normal. In fact, I am as healthy as a horse.

With all that said I have found a wesite with a variety of gourmet salts and other spices: www.mySpiceSage.com.

I stayed on this website for more than an hour, fascinated with what it offers. Most of the salts are about medium coarseness. I ordered a Chardonnay Fleur De Sel, an Aged Balsamic Sea Salt and a Spanish Smoked Paprika.  This site also has little marble bowls and spoons for the salt, great for your dining table.

Upon arrival I opened  the bags and smelled the flavor. Yum, the scent and taste were exactly as named.

I was curious as to how the flavor was infused into the salt. It seems logical if you soak salt in balsamic vinegar it will dissolve. Oh well, think I will just enjoy without question. There is a large variety of flavors: Celtic Sea Salt, Cypress Black Sea Salt, Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt, Merlot Sea Salt (it’s pink), New Zealand Flake Sea Salt, Spanish Rosemary Sea Salt, to name a few. The various salts can be served paired with the likes — such as Chardonnay Sea Salt — as seafood or chicken. How about vegetables with Spanish Rosemary Sea Salt? How about Merlot Sea Salt on a grilled steak?

The Spanish Smoked Paprika was incredible. I sniffed it so many times I had to look in the mirror to see if I had any red powder around my nostrils.

I found a recipe online for smoked paprika with potatoes. You will love it.

Spanish Potatoes With Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

• 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes cut into chunks

• olive oil

• salt

• 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

• 3 garlic cloves, diced

• 1/2 cup white wine

• 2 tbsps. tomato paste

• 1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes

• 2 tsps. hot sauce

• 1 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss the potatoes with 3 tsps. of olive oil and salt well. Arrange one layer of potatoes in a rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned, about 50 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, make the sauce. Heat 2 tbsps. of olive oil in a medium pot set over medium-high heat. Saute the chopped onions, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes until they begin to brown on edges. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add white wine to pan and turn heat to high. Boil until wine is reduced by half, then add the tomato paste. Stir to combine.

Add crushed tomatoes, hot sauce, salt, sugar and paprika. Stir well and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Let sauce cook slowly while potatoes roast. If you wish, use a blender or immersion blender and puree until smooth.

When potatoes are well browned, toss with tomato sauce, then return to pan.

Continue to roast until tomato sauce dries out a bit on potatoes and caramelizes, about 10 minutes. Serves 4.  Enjoy.

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